Sweet little Lola has definitely grown into one of our favourite friends. Our second book, “Lola at the library” by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw, has a relatable storyline for the youngest readers (even ones that don’t usually go to the library), simple and uncluttered illustrations that toddlers can easily identify and get comfy with. There’s still plenty to have little gosling observing for long minutes. And I love the ending: reading a bedtime story is the best way to end the day.
The story goes through the motion of the different actions that make up Lola’s weekly visit to the library with her mommy. There’s something unnervingly disarming (and desperately real :)))) about Lola impatiently waking up her mommy already at 6 a.m.!!! That’s some serious love for reading and for the library! The meticulosity with which she packs her cute green backpack and the way she stands on her tippy tip toes to see what’s happening on the library’s counter are quite endearing.
Little gosling is closely observing all that’s going on in the library, particularly the librarian checking books in and out (one can only see the hands of the librarian and he’s fascinated with the bracelet on the wrist), the shelves and bins with books placed at floor level, little stools for babies and his favourite moments: singing and finger playing nursery rhymes and storytime. Every time we get to that page, little gosling points to the lady doing the reading and says “this is Celine”, one of his teachers at creche, who, apparently is the one doing the reading. Aand, just now, little gosling also knows all the words of “Twinkle, twinkle little star”, just like Lola. I find it reassuring and comforting when books reflect, reinforce and complement little gosling’s daily experiences. He excitedly recites what appears to be his favourite line: “There are so many [books in the library], it takes ages to choose!”. I have to say, little gosling is pretty determined when it comes to picking out the books he wants to have read :)). He loves the image of Lola walking with big strides whilst holding precariously a bunch of books and he just loves Lola’s sandals :).
There is but one part I usually skip reading and improvise about: Lola and mommy’s post-library snack, with Lola drinking juice and getting to taste mommy’s cappuccino’s foam, if she’s been good.. I like the book promoting the image of one on one special time between mommy and Lola, but I’m not ready to talk to little gosling about juice and normalise the idea of drinking juice for him. We’ve very rarely given little gosling juice and only if freshly pressed and always completed with at least ⅓ water. I’m also not comfortable with the “being good” narrative, don’t use it, don’t like the reverse implication…